Emergency protest to defend 24-week limit TONIGHT

Just a quick reminder to London-based readers:

Get yourself down to Westminster from 5.30pm today, for the emergency protest outside Parliament, as MPs vote on crucial amendments to the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill which could curtail women’s right to access abortion.

Meet at Old Palace Yard, opposite St Stephen’s Entrance.

Some background from Abortion Rights:

On Tuesday 20 May Members of Parliament will debate and vote on the anti-abortion amendments to the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill. The key amendments aim to lower the time limit for abortion and must be defeated.

This vote is taking place much earlier than expected and with very little notice. In the limited time available, it is vital that everyone who supports a woman’s right to choose does everything they can to show their opposition to any reduction in the time limit. Please attend this crucial protest – and encourage your trade union, women’s group, student union or other organization to send a presence. Please also write to your MP in advance of 20th to urge them to vote against any amendment to reduce the time limit. A model letter is available at www.abortionrights.org.uk

We say: women must come first. There is no significant scientific or medical support for any reduction in the time limit. Yet a handful of anti-abortionists are using downright propaganda and misinformation, hoping to intimidate and mislead MPs into attacking women’s rights. An overwhelming majority of the public supports the right to choose: MPs should uphold choice and vote down amendments by Nadine Dorries and any anti-abortion MPs.

Less than two per cent of abortions take place after 20 weeks. If successful, a lowering of the abortion time limit would be devastating for a small number of women in difficult, unforeseeable and individual circumstances and would encourage further anti-abortion attacks. Contrary to anti-abortion hype, research shows there has been no increase in survival rates for births under 24 weeks. There is opposition to any lowering of the time limit from the British Medical Association, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, British Association of Perinatal Medicine, Royal College of Nursing, TUC and national trade unions, the Department of Health and MPs across all three major parliamentary political parties.

Photo by SarahDeer, shared under a Creative Commons license